The 6000 ft Chute

By:  Sam
March 24, 2010

At 11:45am, after hiking for seven and a half hours up the chute in increasingly rotten snow, we decided to turn around and head down. Our slow progress was exposing us to the rockfall and avalanche hazard that would further increase as the day went by. We’d made it to 4222m after having hiked for over 7 hours and climbed just under 6000 feet. Looking at a map later, we learned that the peak the chute reached the summit of, was just under 5000 meters, and that even with our enormous run, we were still nowhere near the top of the almost 8000 feet of vertical that the chute could offer.

Under a hot sun, we quickly changed over to begin skiing. For a lifetime East Coast skier, the view was amazing. We looked down the valley towards the specks that were buildings near where we’d left our bikes as we prepared ourselves for a lung burning descent of the longest chute of our lives.

Amit, beginning the descent.

Though the hiking was over, the challenges were not. The south-facing start of the chute was characterized by rotten, sticky snow, but as the chute turned abruptly east, it became even worse. Patches remained rotten, but others had developed a nerve-racking crust. A short section of well developed corn in the middle of the chute lulled us into complacency before we hit the worst challenge of the day: several kilometers of blocky, refrozen, and highly irregular avalanche debris clogging the exit of the chute.



Spot Amit, the spec in the main gut of the chute.

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Read about the author:   Sam


  1. powhounddd
    wrote on March 27th, 2010 at 9:57 am  

    That is pretty incredible. Mega-chute!!

    But…weirder than Quebec? “C’est impossible!”

    • Dwyer
      wrote on March 28th, 2010 at 2:03 am  

      nope. its not.

  2. chris
    wrote on March 27th, 2010 at 12:02 pm  

    Nice pics Sam and welcome back. You guys in VT?

    • Sam
      wrote on March 27th, 2010 at 3:48 pm  

      we’re still in NJ, and I will be for about a week more. It’ll be nice to have some time to re-adjust and take it a bit easy before trying to get going on real life again.

  3. StuckinJersey
    wrote on March 27th, 2010 at 5:57 pm  

    Man, stuff looks FANtastic. that is a special place.

  4. CookieMonster
    wrote on March 30th, 2010 at 2:06 am  

    I have to say, this is an absolutely brilliant trip report. What a monster line!

  5. Butch Chamberlain
    wrote on March 8th, 2011 at 1:50 pm  

    If you’re not on the edge, then you are taking up way too much space! Very sick ravine. Conditions sound absolutely painful. But I do envy you. Great stuff great stuff. Keep it up. Imagine what you can find if only one takes the risk of checking things out. Hmmm

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